A place where we practice random acts of insight and humor.
For my healer and my closure
Published on November 18, 2006 By OckhamsRazor In WoW
Not everyone is into online relationships, and by that, I just mean people making friends online - not the romantic kind. I was told once by an ex-wife "Those people aren't real."

Today, I'm pretty sure my tears are very real.

I've played World of Warcraft since it has been out. I tend to be a "soloer" - someone who just likes to get in and play against the game, yet have other people to talk to while doing so. I admit this makes for what is effectively a 15$ a month chat room. I guess I could blow 15$ a month in worse ways.

But eventually, even the most avid soloer will meet someone they get along well with. Such was my experience with Jason Lacroix, aka Arandor the dwarven priest. I'm not sure why, but as gamers we were a good match. With Jason, the ratio of conversation to game was right for me - some people are just balls-to-the-walls playing and there is very little human interaction, and as I said, the reason I like to solo in an online game is because I have other people to shoot the shit with. Figuratively, of course.

When I say "we grew up together" I mean our characters in the game. I was the damage dealer, and he was my healer. Between the two of us, we were formidable. The guild we were in together went on to conquer a lot of the high end stuff, and we had a lot of great times together. He's the only World of Warcraft player I ever took the time to meet in person. He was a healer in real life as well. A nurse practitioner. He was a dedicated father and husband, he was my closest friend in the game, and he was, in fact, quite real.

Yesterday I got home from a two week stint in Africa to learn from an email that Jason had been killed in a car accident. I guess there really isn't much more to say.

Jason - Mari and I miss you. Rest in peace my dear friend.

Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 19, 2006
I'm so sorry about your friend. I know this is a difficult time for you. My condolences.
on Nov 19, 2006
Sorry for your loss.

I have a lot of friends online who have become my real life friends. So, I do believe that online relationships can be as rich as real world ones, even though one has to accept that not everyone online is real.
on Nov 19, 2006
My Condolences to you and his family.

As for "online friends". I have many, all are real, and the loss of one is just as bad as if it was a "real life" one. I realised that a week ago when one online friend of me passed away as well.
on Nov 19, 2006
I met my best friend online. We've visited each others countries, and I'm going back to see her again in February. We e-mail each other every day if we can't chat on MSN, or failing that, send text messages to each other.
on Nov 19, 2006
People who don't think relationships can exist over the internet are foolish -- relationships are built on communication and interaction, and the internet provides both of those things.

So sorry about your loss.
on Nov 19, 2006

Man,  so sorry to hear that.

There's a few people that I email once in a while,  and I consider them real friendships.  I feel I've come to know and it would hurt to lose them.   I DO have to wonder how they feel,  ya know?  do they care whether or not I'm still around. 


on Nov 20, 2006
Online relationships are very real. Loosing a friend is hard, but remeber the great person that he was.

there are fools, and then there are friends, and online, or in person, it is the interaction and friendship that makes it real.
on Nov 20, 2006
I do think they are real, it's no different than pen pals, or phone friends. It's just through a different medium.

I've encountered some great people, and have had good friendships.

I send my regards, losing a friend, no matter how you met them, is horrible.

Peace, ~Lucas
on Nov 20, 2006

Are they real?  How would we here at JU react if we got news that Karen, Brandie or Dr. Guy died?  If I all of the sudden quit blogging, how many people would start to wonder what's wrong.  If any of the regulars we look forward to every day suddenly stopped, with no explanation, how long would it be before those we have contacted outside of JU started digging to find out what happened.

For anyone to say "they aren't real" (as my wife and some others of what my brother calls "meat friends" believe) would be to tell you that you have no right to mourn the loss of Jason, since you weren't really friends anyway.

Once in awhile I hear of the death or tragedy befalling one of my old Army buddies, or a friend I haven't seen in decades.  No one questions my mourning them... however, who is more a part of my life now, my "Cyberbuddies" or the people from my distant passed?

on Nov 20, 2006
The key difference is that they are not real to those who are "real". You understand the connection but due to the virtual nature of the relationship others in your life have nothing to relate too. I dont think it's malice that sees "meat" friends fail to acknowledge such friendships but rather that they are simply excluded from all aspects of such a relationship. All such a relationship means to them is that "you're" unavailable. For them there are no artifacts of the friendship to make it real to them. In other words online friendships can be very exclusionary in nature.

Sometimes i guess it can be difficult for people to accept that they are in some way being passed over in favor of an "invisible" friend.

How incredibly modern that you met this friend in WoW. My best friends came about as a result of shared experiences though none such as slaying the horde. As online environments become increasingly real it will be interesting to see how social patterns evolve and change. In the meantime a poem for your friend in the wilderness:
on Nov 20, 2006
To a Friend in the Wilderness:

Old friend, dear friend, some day

when I have had my say and the world its way,

when all that is left is the gathering in of ends,

and the forgathering of friends,

on some autumn evening when the mullet leap

in a sea of silver-grey,

then, O then I will come to you again

and stay as long as I may,

stay till the time for sleep;

gaze at the rock that died before me,

and the sea that lives for ever;

of air and sunlight, frost and wave and cloud,

and all the remembered agony and joy

fashion our shroud.

-- A.R.D. Fairburn
on Nov 20, 2006
I'm sorry to hear that your friend passed away.
on Nov 20, 2006
I think what makes this relationship "real" is that you both took the time to meet each other in this world and found that your online "personalities" were aligned with your offline realities. That's real.

There's too many living a virtual life that is either intimacy funneled through an Ethernet cable or some other Internet presence masquerading with all the answers, bravado, and life experience that an online character can muster.

Is what you text what you really get? Get all the wires and keypads out of the way, shake a hand, look someone in the eye, and share some adversity. Then you'll know what's real.

on Nov 21, 2006
I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

In responce to Heydre. In the world of online gaming and chat, shaking hands, and sharing adversity do happen, it's just a different way of doing it. I found it hillarious when I went on my first date with a guy I met online. He thought all this bad things, which he well should, even if I met him in a bar, or at Target, or wherever real place.

People are people, bonds are invisible, and freindships are strong, no matter how you meet them or how you maintain it.
on Nov 21, 2006

My best friend is someone I hooked up with years ago in a sober chatroom, I would not exchange michele {she blogs here once in a while under gimpyone} we have shared all of lifes experences, grief, joy, death, the birth of children, we too phone talk daily and once each year either she comes here to me and colleens home or we go out east to hers. Michele is one of those treasures you find in an unexpected place. Real? as real AS IT GETS.

sorry for your loss.. I do understand losing a friend, it is painful.